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Meet the 2022-23 Post Bulletin All-Area Boys Hockey Team

The Post Bulletin All-Area Boys Hockey Team is loaded with talented goal scorers, defenders and goalies who rank among the state's statistical leaders.

Mayo vs. New Richmond Boys Hockey
Mayo's Nick Weick (30) keeps his eyes on the puck during a Kiwanis Hockey Festival boys hockey game against New Richmond on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM

NICK WEICK

Mayo • Senior • Goalie

Weick was the calming presence for the Spartans for two seasons. He played all but six periods this season, posting a 17-6-2 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and an .899 save percentage. In his two-year career — he split time with then-senior Tate Cothern last season — Weick was 22-7-4 with a 2.16 GAA and a .900 save percentage. Weick backstopped Mayo to a Kiwanis Festival championship and was 8-0-1 in a nine-game stretch between Dec. 1-Jan. 10.

Mayo, John Marshall Section 1AA boys hockey quarterfinal
John Marshall’s Jayden Veney takes a shot during a Section 1AA boys hockey quarterfinal against Mayo on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

JAYDEN VENEY

John Marshall • Junior • Defenseman

The 2023 Post Bulletin All-Area Player of the Year, Veney is being looked at by multiple Division I colleges, high-level junior teams and has drawn some interest from professional organizations. Scored 13 goals and had 35 total points this season, often playing 35 or more minutes per game on a JM team whose lineup was depleted by injuries. An elite skater, he had four power-play goals and two short-handed goals. Has played in one game with the St. Cloud Norsemen of the NAHL since the high school season ended. Has 30 goals and 30 assists, for 60 points, over the past two seasons.

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Jayden Veney's dream as a young hockey player in Rochester was to some day wear a John Marshall jersey. The 6-foot-7 defenseman has enjoyed every second of being a Rocket. Now he has new goals.

Mayo vs. New Richmond Boys Hockey
A shot by Mayo's Will Sexton (4) hits the back of the net during a Kiwanis Hockey Festival boys hockey game against New Richmond on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

WILL SEXTON

Mayo • Senior • Defenseman

The three-year varsity veteran not only led the team’s defensive corps, but he was a rock for the entire team to lean on. Sexton was the savvy veteran who was often paired with — and a mentor for — a varsity newcomer. He had seven goals and 22 points as a senior and finished his varsity career with 14 goals and 50 points. Sexton was a leader on specialty teams, too, with a team-best six power-play assists.

013122-LOURDES-LA-CRESCENT-BOYS-HOCKEY-7526.jpg
La Crescent’s Wyatt Farrell (2) enters the ice before a boys hockey game against Lourdes Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Traci Westcott/Traci Westcott

WYATT FARRELL

La Crescent-Hokah • Junior • Forward

The state’s second-leading goal-scorer, Farrell averaged two goals per game and 2.77 points per game. He finished the season with 52 goals and 72 points in 26 games, including 10 game-winning goals for the 18-8-0 Lancers. Farrell has led the Lancers in scoring in four consecutive seasons, since his eighth-grade year. He’ll enter his senior season with 143 goals and 191 career points.

Rochester Kiwanis Hockey Festival - Century vs. Dodge County Boy
Dodge County's Gryffon Funke (13) skates with the puck during a Rochester Kiwanis Hockey Festival game against Century on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

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GRYFFON FUNKE

Dodge County • Junior • Forward

Funke led the Wildcats in goals (31) and was second this season in assists (18) and points (49), despite missing three-and-a-half games early in the season due to injuries and illnesses. He’ll go into his senior season with 102 points for his high school career (55-47—102). Funke had at least one point in every game he played this season, except for a loss to Northfield in the Section 1A semifinals. He had a 19-game point streak snapped in that game.

21-12-14-Lourdes-hockey-5844.jpg
Eagles defender Charlie Kielty pressures Teis Larsen of Winona Tuesday December 14, 2021 at Graham Arena. Special to the Post Bulletin / Ken Klotzbach
Ken Klotzbach

TEIS LARSEN

Winona • Junior • Forward

Larsen had an outstanding junior season, leading the Winhawks in goals (33), assists (32) and points (65). He ranked second in the Big Nine Conference in goals and points, and third in assists. Larsen was exceptional on the power play (nine goals, 18 assists) and had five game-winning goals. He had five hat tricks, nine multi-goal games and eight games with four or more points. Larsen will enter his senior season with 135 career points (62 goals, 73 assists).

John Marshall, Century boys hockey
Rochester Century boys hockey players T.J. Gibson (10), Aiden Emerich (7), Jonah Ottman (3) and Kroix Klingfus (21) celebrate a goal during a game against John Marshall on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, at Rochester Recreation Center in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

T.J. GIBSON

Century • Senior • Forward

Gibson accomplished a rarity in his three seasons on the Panthers varsity — he led the team in goals and scoring all three seasons. As a senior, he had a team-best 23 goals and 42 points, and tied for the team lead in assists (19). Gibson, who signed a tender agreement to play for the Granite City Lumberjacks in the NA3HL next season, finished his high school career, which included a pandemic-shortened sophomore season, with 55 goals and 92 points.

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ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM

John Marshall, Century boys hockey
John Marshall’s Cody Vlasaty (30) makes a save during a boys hockey game against Century on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, at Rochester Recreation Center in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Cody Vlasaty • John Marshall • Sr. • Goalie: The senior went 13-10-1 with a 3.14 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Made 35 or more saves in 10 games, and backstopped JM to wins against the top three teams in the Big Nine — Northfield, Century and Mayo.

Century vs. East Ridge Boys Hockey Kiwanis Hockey Festival
Century's Jonah Ottman (3) skates with the puck during a Kiwanis Hockey Festival boys hockey game against East Ridge on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Jonah Ottman • Century • Sr. • Defenseman: Century’s third-leading scorer, Ottman logged a load of ice time for the Panthers, excelling at five-on-five, as well as on the power play and penalty kill. He had eight goals and 27 points, including eight power-play points.

Lourdes, Winona Section 1A quarterfinal boys hockey
Winona’s Aven Prodzinski controls the puck during a Section 1A quarterfinal boys hockey game against Lourdes Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Aven Prodzinski • Winona • Soph. • Defenseman: The Winhawks’ second-leading scorer with 15 goals and 31 points. He had eight multi-point games, including scoring four power-play goals — and a natural hat trick in a span of 1:09 — in a win against Owatonna.

Rochester Kiwanis Hockey Festival - Century vs. Dodge County Boy
Dodge County's Brett Ludvigsen, left, pressure's Century's Jack Ottman during a Rochester Kiwanis Hockey Festival game on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Brett Ludvigsen • Dodge County • Soph. • Forward: The sophomore had a breakout season with a team-best 30 assists and 52 points. He also led the Wildcats with four short-handed goals and averaged 2.0 points per game.

Mayo, Farmington Section 1AA quarterfinal boys hockey
Mayo’s Cohen Ruskell (27) and Gavin Black (10) react after Ruskell scored a goal during a Section 1AA quarterfinal boys hockey game against Farmington on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Cohen Ruskell • Mayo • Sr. • Forward: One of the leaders of a deep senior class, Ruskell led the Spartans in goals (19), points (41) and tied for the lead in assists (22). He also led Mayo with five power-play goals and four game winners.

John Marshall vs. Highland Park Boys Hockey
John Marshall's Mason Decker (7) controls the puck during a boys hockey game against Highland Park Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, at the Rochester Recreation Center.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Mason Decker • John Marshall • Sr. • Forward: Led JM in scoring for a second consecutive season, with 22 goals and 40 points this season. Closed his high school career with 48 goals and 34 assists, for 82 points, in three seasons on the Rockets’ varsity.

Mayo, John Marshall Section 1AA boys hockey quarterfinal
Mayo’s Sam Jacobson (14) takes a shot during a Section 1AA boys hockey quarterfinal against John Marshall on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Sam Jacobson • Mayo • Sr. • Forward: Mayo’s vocal and on-ice leader, Jacobson scored 16 goals and added 20 assists, for 36 points. He finished his three-year varsity career — including a pandemic-shortened 2020-21 — with 43 goals and 82 points.

ALL-AREA THIRD TEAM

Xander Carter-Kleven • Lourdes • Jr. • Goalie: Carter-Kleven was solid against a challenging schedule, making more than 40 saves in 10 games and going 10-17-0 with an .898 save percentage and 3.93 goals-against average.

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Jan Bla'ha • La Crescent-Hokah • Sr. • Defenseman: The Czechia native had 15 goals and 34 points in his lone season of high school hockey, including 10 multi-point games.

Payton Kor • Mayo • Sr. • Defenseman: Kor (7-14—21) missed a majority of his junior season, but was a leader on a deep Spartans team this year.

Aiden Emerich • Century • Jr. • Forward: A standout two-way center, Emerich was second on the Panthers with 17 goals and 36 points, including 10 points in the last seven games.

Ole Fevold • John Marshall • Soph. • Forward: Fevold adjusted to the varsity game quickly, finishing second on the team in goals (16) and points (37), and getting 14 of his points on specialty teams.

Peyton Loeslie • Lourdes • Jr. • Forward: The Eagles’ leading scorer (14-18—32) was a huge part of their offense, accounting for 25 percent of their points and 22 percent of their goals.

Mason Leimbek • Mayo • Sr. • Forward: One of the best two-way centers in the Big Nine and Section 1, Leimbek led Mayo in assists (22) and had 31 points.

ALL-AREA HONORABLE MENTION

GOALIES

Michael Dubek, Jr., Winona (8-13-1, 3.01, .916, 3); Ethan Knox, Sr., Austin (4-13-1, 4.79, .901, 0); Collin Morken, Jr., La Crescent-Hokah (10-6-0, 2.46, .882, 1); Cole Rocholl, Sr., Century (8-2-0, 2.15, .914, 4); Jackson Roethler, Jr., Dodge County (12-10-0, 3.51, .895, 2); Logan Yehle, Sr., La Crescent-Hokah (8-2-0, 2.17, .884, 3).

DEFENSE

Cody Ahlstrom, Sr., John Marshall (2-11–13); Gavin Black, Sr., Mayo (4-10–14); Sam Eyre, Sr., Austin (8-6–14); Bronson Freerksen, Jr. Dodge County (2-10–12); Vinny Harens, Fr., Lourdes (3-7–10); Toby Holtz, Sr., Austin (3-10–13); Brody Josselyn, Jr., Century (4-15–19); minutes;

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Kroix Klingfus, Sr., Century (3-11–14); Sam Knowlton, Sr. Red Wing (3-9–12); Spencer Nierman, Sr., Dodge County (4-7–11); Jeremiah Peterson-Gordon, Fr., Dodge County (5-7–12); Caeden Smith, Jr., Dodge County (3-9–12); Brayden Swee, Sr., Lourdes (3-5–8); Nicholas Wooden, Jr., Red Wing (6-6–12).

FORWARDS

Jack Billings, Sr., Century (8-10–18); Jacob Brown, Sr., Mayo (12-19–31); Jonathan Burmester, Jr., Century (7-7–14); Cooper Carlson, Sr., La Crescent-Hokah (16-26–42); Brock Clarey, Soph., John Marshall (8-11–19); Ethan Dennis, Sr., Mayo (18-15–33); Ryan Dripps, Sr., Mayo (9-6–15); Riley Freiderich, Sr., Dodge County (10-9–19); Colton Holzer, Jr., La Crescent-Hokah (5-17–22); Blake Kanz, Sr., Century (7-16–23);

Dylan Klomps, Soph., Dodge County (12-14–26); Wesylee Kohner, Sr., Winona (11-14–25); Nikolas Kubecka, Sr., La Crescent-Hokah (8-16–24); Ethan Myhre, Soph., La Crescent-Hokah (10-18–28); Jack Ottman, Sr., Century (13-10–23); Conner Preston, Sr., Red Wing (10-7–17); Bennett Pronk, Jr., Century (12-11–23); Mitchell Reining, Soph., La Crescent-Hokah (16-12–28); Colton Rich, Soph., Lourdes (14-4–18); Aidan Ritter, Jr., Lourdes (11-10–21);

Gahvin Schaefer, Soph., Austin (11-10–21); Matthew Siems, Sr., Mayo (8-10–18); Isaac Stromlund, Sr., Austin (5-13–18); Justin Sutton, Jr., Century (6-9–15); Alex Von Arx, Soph., La Crescent-Hokah (8-12–20).

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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